The Order of St. John faced many challenges in the fifteenth century: its position in the Western Schism, the expansionist efforts of the Mamluks and the Ottomans, the real (physical) threat to the Order's seat in Rhodes and the consequent financial shortfall, as well as the ever-present threat to its internal constitution from disciplinary problems.

In addition, the return of the popes to Rome triggered new dynamics, which did not remain without consequences for the presence and role of the Order of St. John in the city and at court. Questioning the evolution of bilateral relations between the Order and the Roman Curia, this work joins an interest in contemporary research on resilience. It asks how resilience was achieved and maintained in this relationship by the Order. It examines the mechanisms that have ensured the resilience or adaptability of an organisation in the face of imminent (unexpected) challenges.

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